Skip to main content
Research Guides Databases A-Z Library Catalog Ask a Librarian Library Home Page SUNY New Paltz

Finding Sheet Music

Locating Music Scores and notated music at Sojourner Truth Library

What's this mean?

The composer must often decide whether their published composition should appear, note for note, as it was written for a specific combination of instruments (a full orchestral score, for example), or whether to rewrite the musical parts for a different combination of voices or instruments (an arrangement or reduction).  Sometimes multiple versions are available.    

Scores are very expensive to produce, so economics may drive what scores are available.

 In some cases, a "full score" is unavailable for purchase, too large to be useful for study, or is too expensive for a library to purchase.  Often, too, it is easier for people learning or even performing the score to work from an arrangement or a reduction.  So we have some scores available as "full scores", others available as "miniature scores", and in varied arrangements -- most notably for one or more pianos.   

You can tell whether something is a full score, or is arranged, by looking at the "Description" areas of an item's record in the catalog. These include the Subject, Genre, Format and General Notes tags.

Beethven study score

Sometimes you might see "miniature score": like a study score, it is a FULL orchestral score but it's printed in a small format to make it more portable.

Beethoven four hand arrangementThis version of a Beethoven symphony is arranged for two pianos.

Vocal selections vocal score for the broadway show Next To NormalThis is a piano-vocal arrangement of songs from a Broadway show.  

Catalog record for full orchestral score of Verdi RequiemThis is a full orchestral score.  Compare the number of pages with the piano arrangement below

Catalog record for Piano reduction or Verdi Requiem score